Customer Discussions > Classical Music forum

I need help...once again

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 4, 2012 3:03:58 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2012 3:04:54 PM PST
J. Eickhoff says:
Does anybody know of a database (a website, book or whatever) that has all recordings of classical music on record and shows each CD that each recording appears on? I hate paying a hundred dollars on an out-of-print CD only to discover afterwords that the recording I wanted was available on another CD at a tenth of the price.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 3:13:03 PM PST
David M. says:

If searching Amazon is to no avail, it might help to check Worldcat - - which is a catalogue of materials that belong to North American libraries.

For example, say you wanted to know whether Clemens Krauss's 1940 recording of Beethoven's Missa Solemnis had been released on CD. You'd search for "Beethoven Missa Solemnis Clemens Krauss", a search that produces 16 results. On the left side of the screen, you'd click the box that says "CD," whittling the results down to just 5. Looking through those 5 results and taking into account duplications, it turns out that this performance has been released twice: in 1991 by Deutsche Grammophon, and in 2000 by Grammofono.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 3:41:43 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 4, 2012 3:48:06 PM PST
Larkenfield says:
Speaking in general, one can also judge if two performances are the same by checking the length of time of each movement of a symphony, for example, or the entire length of a work, give and take a few seconds, if the information happens to be available, but sometimes a great deal of research is necessary to find the times. Since no two performances of anything are exactly the same length, a noticeable difference in times will point to a different performance - a way of doubling-checking for duplications... I would also look for databases dedicated to certain conductors and their recordings for different releases, such as the Furtwangler Society ( Related to the above, it can sometimes be helpful to sample different releases on-line to see if they sound the same or have been engineered differently. For example, the Decca and Philips releases of Claudio Arrau's Beethoven Sonatas are engineered differently (with noticeably inferior sound in the Decca release, imo) though the original performances are the same. In the end though, we probably all get fooled into costly duplications at one time or another until a unified database comes along that everyone can feed into, if ever. Happy hunting. ♬

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 4:20:10 PM PST
Auntie Lynn says:
I think I got the last copy of the Schwann ever published - gee, I miss that thing. It had it ALL...

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 4:24:21 PM PST
Lez Lee says:
Try ArkivMusic, I can't guarantee it of course but it seems to list every classical recording available. You can cross reference anything in great detail right down to individual players in ensembles, exact date of recording etc, etc. Never let me down yet.

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 5:21:39 PM PST
Dmitri says:
I've seen Arkivmusic as a third party seller at Amazon. I wonder how much longer they will be around?

Posted on Nov 4, 2012 5:39:59 PM PST
Lez Lee says:
They're probably doing OK Dmitri, it's only in the past year or so that they've expanded into Europe, though their stock is not yet nearly as extensive.

Posted on Nov 5, 2012 1:01:23 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 5, 2012 6:22:30 AM PST
Mandryka says:
The only way to be sure is to use the web to ask people. Use rmcr on googlegroups, there are collectors there with big libraries who will normally respond knowlegably if the music is somewhere between Haydn and Debussy. For earlier or later music it's more difficult.

There's no other reliable way, I've found. Worldcat will tell you the publisher, but it won't tell you the performance details, and that's what often matters most. You won't know, for example, whether Pollini's release of Davidsbundlertanze on Exclusive is the same or different from the release on DG.

And worldcat's incomplete: for example, it doesn't capture the release of Scherchen's Cento Soli Orchestra of Paris performance of Brandenburg Concertos from Rediscovery Records -- in fact it leaves you thinking that these performances are only on LP.

Posted on Nov 5, 2012 5:34:31 AM PST
John Spinks says:
The Library of Congress ( catalogs are sometimes helpful. There is a way to look at the full cataloging record which carries more information. Other large library catalogs that occasionally help are those from New York Public, Enoch Pratt, and the University of Texas. Sometimes digging is required. But that's the fun.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 5, 2012 6:59:04 AM PST
There are a few specialty sites that do this for specific works or performers, a labor of love by some individual (there are, for example, a couple of excellent discographies of the Goldberg Variations, and I recall that there's a pretty comprehensive Oistrakh discography, too).

Otherwise, it's something of a crapshoot. I carry my iPhone with me any time I'm shopping, and use the Amazon app to avoid overpaying for such things. I also try to save receipts on pricey items so that I can research them when I get home, and return them if I find out that I've overpaid. It's a little easier when shopping online, using Google/Amazon/eBay.

‹ Previous 1 Next ›
[Add comment]
Add your own message to the discussion
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Prompts for sign-in


This discussion

Discussion in:  Classical Music forum
Participants:  9
Total posts:  10
Initial post:  Nov 4, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 5, 2012

New! Receive e-mail when new posts are made.

Search Customer Discussions